Kuro Goma-ae (Green beans with black sesame sauce)

Make this delicious vegetarian dish part of your sushi platter. Crunchy green beans are served simply with a rich and nutty black sesame and soy sauce.

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Goma-ae is a very popular Japanese home-cooked dish. I love the aroma of the black sesame seeds and the sweet and nutty flavour of the sauce. Use a surikogi and suribachi or a regular pestle and mortar to grind the sesame seeds. I always cut the beans in half, because it is better to have bite-size pieces of food when eating with chopsticks.

Serves 4


200g green beans
1 tbsp sea salt
For the black sesame sauce:
4 tbsp black sesame seeds
1 tbsp mirin
½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp miso
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp water

Essential kit

You will need a surikogi and suribachi or pestle and mortar.


Trim the ends off the green beans, cut the beans in half and wash them in cold water. Add the salt to a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Cook the beans for 2 minutes or until tender. Do not overcook - it’s important to keep them crunchy! Drain the beans in a colander and rinse with cold running water to cool them down. Drain again and leave them to dry.

To make the sauce, crush the sesame seeds in a surikogi and suribachi or pestle and mortar, grinding them into a paste.

Gradually add the mirin, soy sauce and miso, mixing continuously. Add the sugar and water. Toss the green beans with the sauce and serve.


Asparagus, spinach, broccoli or cauliflower all work well instead of green beans.

The sauce keeps well in the fridge for 3 days.

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